AT&T Internet vs WOW!: Side by Side Comparison

Enter your zip code below to see if AT&T Internet or WOW! offers service in your area.

AT&T Internet vs WOW!

There’s plenty to think about when comparing AT&T with WOW! for broadband service. Both offer TV and phone service as well, and subscribers who combine or “bundle” services can sometimes find great deals with excellent speeds. The biggest differences come down to technical network differences and TV offerings.

AT&T Internet AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (844) 602-3932
  • Support: (800) 288-2020

(844) 602-3932

$40 to $80 / mo.

18 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.5 mbps to 1,000 mbps

64%64%

DSL

Current: 22nd (0)

WOW! AT A GLANCE

  • Sales: (888) 607-2611
  • Support: (800) 343-2076

(888) 607-2611

$29.99 to $79.99 / mo.

10 mbps to 1,000 mbps

1.0 mbps to 50 mbps

--

Cable

Current: 4th ↓ (-2)

AT&T Internet OVERVIEW

AT&T U-Verse is a bundled broadband Internet, phone, and digital TV provider. They provide connectivity via both DSL and fiber networks.

WOW! OVERVIEW

WOW! is a bundled cable TV, broadband Internet, and phone provider. The name “WOW!” stands for “Wide Open West.” The company also offers fiber Internet connectivity in select areas.

AT&T Internet INTERNET DEALS †

  • $40 for 45 mbps Fiber
    • 45 mbps ↓ and 6.0 mbps ↑ w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $70.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with $180 ETF
    • Setup: $99.00 (Internet Installation Fee)
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $40 for 45 mbps DSL
    • up to 45 Mbps w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $70.00.
    • 45mbps not guaranteed. Speeds vary by service area, but AT&T offers fixed pricing of $40/mo for the first year at the maximum speed that is available at your location.
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $70 for 100 mbps Fiber
    • 100 mbps ↓ and 100 mbps ↑ w/ a 1000 GB/mo data cap
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $99.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with $180 ETF
    • Setup: waived
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
  • $80 for 1,000 mbps Fiber
    • 1,000 mbps ↓ and 1,000 mbps ↑ w/ no data cap.
    • 1-year promo rate. Regular rate is $99.00.
    • Contract Term: 1 year with $180 ETF
    • Setup: waived
    • Modem w/ WiFi included.
    • Call (844) 602-3932 to setup service.
Last updated on 2/1/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with AT&T Internet.

WOW! INTERNET DEALS †

  • $29.99 for 10 mbps Cable
    • 10 mbps ↓ and 1.0 mbps
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $39.99 for 100 mbps Cable
    • 100 mbps ↓ and 10 mbps
    • 2-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 2 years
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
  • $79.99 for 1,000 mbps Cable
    • 1,000 mbps ↓ and 50 mbps
    • 2-year promo rate.
    • Contract Term: 2 years
    • Modem: $10/mo
    • Call (888) 607-2611 to setup service.
Last updated on 6/28/2017

†All plans not available in all areas or to all customers. Verify details with WOW!.

AT&T Internet: DATACAPS From 1000 GB/mo.

We have found plans that include datacaps. AT&T Internet offer plans with data caps regionally or nationwide. Be sure to verify plan details before purchasing.

WOW!: NO DATACAP FOUND

We have not found plans that include data caps. This doesn't mean WOW! doesn't have data caps, just that we haven't found them when collecting their plans. Always verify plan details before purchasing.

AT&T Internet's TECHNOLOGY

AT&T offers fiber optic and hybrid DSL internet connections to many residential consumers and businesses across the US. They also offer a variety of “triple play” plans with bundled TV and home phone service.

Their DSL offering, historically known as AT&T U-verse, leverages a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) layout where fiber optic cable terminates at a point near consumers, with the final stretch to the subscriber residence reached via telephone, ethernet, and in some rare cases coaxial cable. This hybrid fiber network has allowed AT&T to offer higher bandwidth plans than traditionally expected from DSL.[3]

In addition to their DSL offering, AT&T also offers fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) in some areas. FTTH is considered the “gold standard” for strong, fast, and reliable home internet connection.

WOW!'s TECHNOLOGY

WOW! offers a variety of broadband connection types, including cable, DSL, fixed wireless, and fiber, often bundled with cable television and phone offerings. As of 2016, their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is available in select areas and scheduled to expand based on consumer demand.

Cable broadband, WOW!’s most prevalent option, is usually delivered via hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. In this type of network, most of the distance between the provider and consumer is covered by high-speed fiber optic cables. Once it reaches a neighborhood, the fiber terminates at a node where data is switched from optic signal to electrical signal for transmission over existing coaxial copper television networks.[4]

While pure fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections are the “gold standard” of next-generation broadband technologies — delivering speeds up to 1Gbps in ideal scenarios — WOW! is working to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 to their HFC networks. This advanced protocol, an improvement on the current DOCSIS protocols used to transmit binary data over coaxial cables, will allow some HFC networks to achieve gigabit speeds rivaling FTTH offerings.

AT&T Internet INSTALLATION

To get AT&T services installed, you have two main routes: professional installation or self-installation.

AT&T generally charges a fee for professional installation, so if your house is already wired and qualifies for self-installation, this may be an easy route for you to save money when setting up service.

WOW! INSTALLATION

WOW! offers a variety of connection types, and generally bundles installation and setup with your plan. Some customers may be able to self-install with their own equipment (compatible router, modem, etc.). However, it probably won’t save them any money as with other providers. For professional installation, WOW! sends out a skilled technician to determine what is necessary to connect your home, as well as set up and configure everything needed to get online. There is usually a small connection fee, but no direct charge for technician setup.

AT&T Internet RATINGS AND REVIEWS

42%42% Customer Rating

41.8% recommendation rating according to 66,731 verified users.

WOW! RATINGS AND REVIEWS

57%57% Customer Rating

56.6% recommendation rating according to 5,435 verified users.

AT&T Internet COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

AT&T Internet Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

WOW! COVERAGE & AVAILABILITY

WOW! Interactive SVG Map showing broadband coverage.

Cut the cord, or stay connected?

Streaming video content vs paying for TV service

AT&T and WOW! both offer TV in addition to Internet and phone service — but the similarities end there. Channels on offer vary from place to place, particularly when it comes to local channels. AT&T often offers TV via a satellite dish separate from your DSL Internet connection, which has pros and cons depending on your area. WOW! generally uses the same coaxial cable that brings your Internet data to provide cable TV.

Data caps are increasingly a concern in some areas.[1] Consumers should double check that they won’t go over their download limit if they “cut the cord” and rely on over-the-top streaming services like Hulu to deliver their video entertainment. Even with caps as high as a terabyte, high-quality video has been creating bigger and bigger file sizes every year, making those data caps look much more restrictive in the long term.

Understanding fees and “extras”

The fine print isn’t always pretty

The good news: bundling Internet, phone, and TV services from the same provider usually results in a lower overall monthly cost. The bad news: ETFs (early termination fees) and long contract lengths can make the final cost of your broadband service much higher than it looks when you sign up.

To stay safe, always shop with the final monthly cost in mind, no matter how attractive the sign-up bonuses offered are. Students, young professionals, and others who frequently relocate should be especially mindful of what they’ll have to pay to break a contract.

Also be wary of additional fees on your bill, and don’t be shy to call your provider and request explanations for fees you don’t understand. Even a couple extra dollars a month can add up over the years, which is too bad if it’s a fee you can remove with a simple phone call.[2]

Last updated on 6/28/2017.

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